Before going into the strategies and details, we need to set the most important thing straight: Entering a digital market space is NOT equal to starting Digital Marketing.
Now, imagine you are getting started by gathering information and resource to plan the perfect strategy that will launch your business to millions of people. But then, the more you research, the more confused you get when some sources advise you “The more content, the better”, while others say, “Don’t post that much or else people will get annoyed”. As a beginner, you are starting to feel a slight discouragement upon realizing that there is a sea of strategies and skills required to deliver success with Digital Marketing or worst…you have already jumped in with the wrong strategy!
Having a great product, a dedicated and competent team, a healthy amount of capital, and excellent customer service is fantastic; but without a steady revenue stream, your company growth will wither like a dry plant in the sun.
To understand the basic skills and strategies of digital marketing required for any beginners, take a look at our checklist with some interesting bonuses of top myths you should avoid when starting digital marketing.
Essential things you need to know before starting your digital marketing campaign:
1. Know Your Customer
Before you spend a penny on digital marketing, you must first determine your targeted audience, your niche. Who are they? What are they looking for? Why will they be attracted to your products or services?
These questions, as straightforward as they might be, are generally ignored by most business owners, who only have a hazy understanding of their ideal customer group, but fail to identify their customers' needs and thus, also fail to engage and connect with prospects.
The best way to identify your niche is to write them down. What is the information that you think is closely linked to your business target (Jobs, demographic, income level, interests, worries, etc.)? List them all down and by the end of it, you will definitely gain a deeper insight into your targeted audience.
This is the first step that is absolutely essential to start any digital marketing strategy. Finished your niche profile? Let’s move on to the next step!
2. Know What You Are Going to Promote
Similar to our previous point, you can design (or simply choose, if it has already been created) an optimized product if you have a complete, accurate vision of your customer needs. This optimized product is tailored to your customer's tastes or preferences, but at the same time, must amplify your brand unique characteristics.
Knowing what you are going to promote that will not only satisfy customers’ demands but also stand your brand out against other competitors is the next crucial step in your digital marketing strategy.
3. Set a Budget and Spend Accordingly
Budget is the core part of any marketing strategy. Despite how good and well-planned your strategy is, if you do not have the budget to back it up, it will not work.
Learn about the limitations of your budget and other resources (manpower, time, etc.). Make a precise number and stick to it. If you want to do something like pay-per-click but run out of money in the middle of the campaign, you will need to adjust your marketing goals and approaches to suit your budget.
4. How to Bring in Customers
You are halfway there if you know your client, the product, and the budget. What you can and cannot do are heavily dependent on your budget. Be smart and determine what is the most cost-effective digital marketing tactics available for you.
It might be SEO and viral social media marketing; it can also be media buys and pay-per-click. Perhaps your budget would enable you to use all of these techniques. Keep in mind that each approach has advantages and disadvantages. Thus, this is the time for your research and analysing.
Be sure to effectively reaching out to your targeted audience and pull them to your doorstep or your landing page without wasting any valuable resources as this could kill a new business.
5. Create a Plan to Sell
It is time to create a hook for your potential customers after you have got their attention.
Your marketing message and sales copy must touch them exactly where that will make them "feel" compelled to buy your product or service. This takes us back to the first point: Know who your customers are. Customize your copy (whether it's a sales message, a video, or audio) to what you know they want.
Make an effort to communicate with your audience on a personal and emotional level. For instances, if you own a guitar shop, don't just list the features and a price; tell them how your guitars can help them begin to realize their dream.
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Now you know the basic steps to the perfect digital marketing strategy. Awesome! However, there are various other tactics and skills one needs to familiarize with to stay relevant in the ever-changing digital industry:
Video is sweeping the internet, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Videos can keep customers on retail sites for two minutes longer than the average (which in the digital environment is a lifetime).
A well-optimized video will increase your odds of being in the top Google ranking spot by at least 50 %. Furthermore, more than 80% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after seeing a review or testimonial video about it.
What is it about videos that makes them so appealing? Because it's personal! People are more likely to trust the whole enterprise if they can see the face of your brand or your product ambassador. Remember, it is always easier to connect with another individual than a business entity.
Videos are also fantastically flexible to use across various channels. Of course, digital marketers do not need to be experts in video production, but learning how to make a fast introduction video on your laptop is a good place to start.
Here are some platforms where you can make amazing videos for your digital marketing strategy:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential at all levels of digital marketing, so anyone entering the field should have a clear understanding of it.
Although you can leave the technical back-end work to the team's expert, a strong understanding of best practices and how to optimize all types of content is necessary for any digital marketing campaign and strategy. Take the initiative to research and learn more about SEO via various free sources online.
Content is at the heart of every digital marketing strategy, and no matter what happens, content marketing will remain a vital component of the game, which is why this is a task that is not to be taken lightly.
You must be able to not only produce high-quality, SEO-friendly contents but also how to effectively reach audiences with your variety of content.
An amazing tool that you should take advantage of in this step is Google Analytics. Regardless of which industry you are in, monitoring and reporting data are a core part to grow your business in the right direction.
Figuring out how to collect and use the data can be tricky at first, but as soon as you start to get a hang of it, insights about customer behavior will flow in and help you develop new digital marketing strategies with better results such as increase traffic and conversions.
When you are talking about Digital Marketing, you can’t leave out the extensive involvement of technology. Digital marketers need to have a good understanding and be able to pick up new and relevant technologies quickly.
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Design-Based Thinking & Planning
This method has five main stages, according to The Interaction Design Foundation: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and evaluate. The fact that so many parts of digital marketing are focused on the user experience is why this works so well.
Another intriguing feature of this technique is that it can be used in a non-linear manner – for example, you might get to the testing phase and then return to the middle phase to reconsider ideas.
An approach like this is likely to be used by designers and developers, but even if you are not one, it's a good idea to at least consider it and use it where possible.
A great digital marketing leader will not only have excellent people skills but will also be able to combine strategic thinking with imaginative problem solving, to assist teams in developing innovative strategy ideas that will propel their companies forward.
Can you persuade anyone else to buy? How about persuading the rest of your team that your idea is the best? It is not so much about debating as it is about getting the courage to know what you are doing and demonstrating it.
These are the essential skills and tactics every beginner should know about before stepping into digital marketing. The next step to enhance your digital marketing competencies is developing your confidence. Here are a few myths and misconceptions so that you can assertively avoid them like a true pro!
Top Myths of Digital Marketing
“Digital marketing is the ONLY marketing you need”
That is not the case! Although digital marketing is an important part of your marketing strategies, it can be more successful if used in combination with other methods of marketing.
It is always a good idea to have a mix of conventional and digital marketing. Print media and word of mouth are common examples.
“SEO is not important anymore.”
Since social media has become such a common form of advertisement, many people believe they no longer need SEO as a part of their strategies. However, the fact is 68% of online encounters begin with a search engine, demonstrating that SEO is still a vital component of digital marketing.
Another SEO myth is that Google Ads would help boost organic traffic. This is not correct. Each of them operates differently, but if done correctly, they are both effective components.
“The more content, the better”
There is such a thing as having too much information! The phrase "content is king" is true, but the content you use on your website and in your online ads must be properly targeted. This is why conducting keyword research is so crucial.
If you want to build targeted content, your content should always be focused on industry-relevant keywords. More exposure from the right audience would benefit from targeted content.
“Negative feedback is bad”
If a customer complains about your company on social media, take advantage of the situation. Respond to the customer's concern by providing them with a response that either solves the problem straightforwardly or enables them to contact the customer support line.
This demonstrates to them, as well as anyone else who sees the comments, that you are concerned about their problems. Customers are more concerned about how you handle the problem than with the problem itself.
To conclude, digital marketing is not as easy as the general public set out to believe. Almost anyone can enter the race, but you must commit to get ahead and win it!
Congratulations on searching for what you need to do to plan a perfect digital marketing strategy. That is a great initiative. Now, let’s win and grow together.
If there is one thing that we can be sure about digital marketing, it's that the world is constantly shifting. What was relevant last year could become outdated the following year. Thus, never stop learning and updating your skills. Here are two great ways for you to start: